The vanishing critique of capitalism within the Sewŏl movement for truth finding has revealed the bare face of the current democratic order and its rule of law. This article presents the Sewŏl movement as the bellwether, in a synchronic sense, of the Candlelight Protests that have become a modality of direct action in South Korea. I seek to contribute to our understanding of the life politics that has become a key marker of struggles against the state-capital network since the 2000s. I ascribe the antinomies of truth finding and mourning and of massacre and accident in the Sewŏl movement to the democratic collective unconscious that regards the 1987 moment in South Korea as an irrevocable rupture from dictatorship to democracy. The Sewŏl movement illuminates how the axes of organization and spontaneity and of reformism and revolution in the Candlelight Protest movement are not so much binaries, or oppositions, as hieroglyphic signs of the democratic unconscious and its excesses that contest the temporalizations of the capitalist present.

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